BANGOR, Maine – The River Hawks' Antonio Bivens posted a game-high 25 points to help UMass-Lowell down the Black Bears, 74-62 at the Cross Insurance Center on Thursday night. With the loss the Black Bears fall to 3-15 and 1-5 in conference and UMass-Lowell improves to 5-13 and 4-3 in America East play.
Maine had four players reach double-figures, with Xavier Pollard leading the way with 15, but it wasn't enough to come away with the victory. Pollard shot 7-of-12 from the field chipping in a trey to get to 15, while Kilian Cato recorded 14 points, Till Gloger had 12 and Troy Reid-Knight had 10.
While Bivens sparked the River Hawks offense, Chad Holley (12 points) and Akeem Williams (11 points) were the two other double-digit point scorers for UMass Lowell.
The Black Bears were outrebounded once again, as the River Hawks took down 39 boards to Maine's 27. River Hawks also edged the Black Bears in shooting percentage as UMass Lowell shot 45 percent from the field while Maine shot 41 percent.
UMass Lowell took a slim 11-9 lead into the under 12:00 minute media timeout thanks to the inspired play of Bivens, who capped the run with a dunk.
Maine turned the tide shortly thereafter as Kilian Cato drained his first three pointer of the game to make it 12-11 and then Xavier Pollard recorded a steal and a fast break dunk to make it 14-11, with less than 12 minutes remaining in the half.
The Black Bears made it a seven point lead, its largest advantage of the half, off a layup by Pollard with Dimtry Akanda-Coronel dishing the assist, to make it 22-15 with 8:27 minutes left in the half.
UMass Lowell cut it to a one point lead later in the frame off a pair of Chard Holley free throws, but the Black Bears and River Hawks went back and forth as Maine took a slim four point lead into halftime, up 33-29.
Pollard registered 11 of his 15 points in the first frame to lead the team, while Bivens totaled 10.
Both teams shot 44 percent for the half while UMass Lowell edged the Black Bears in the rebound department, 17-15.
Holley opened up the first half with a layup but Shaun Lawton countered with a dunk of his own to make it 35-31, but Umass Lowell narrowed the gap minutes later.
The lead changed hands several times until a run with six minutes left gave UMass Lowell the decided advantage.
A pair of Biven's free throw chances gave the River Hawks a 56-54 lead and sparked a 18-8 run, fueled by 14 free throw points, as UMass Lowell won 74-62.
The Black Bears will take to the road for a two-game set this weekend and early next week as they look to snap a five game losing streak against Stony Brook on Sunday night. They follow it up with a mid-week showdown with New Hampshire next Wednesday. Those games are slated for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.